The sparkling lustre of a well-maintained wood floor adds warmth and beauty to a home. But for many homeowners, cleaning hardwood can be confusing.
Sure, there is no room for dirt to hide. But what cleaning products do you use? Are tile power scrubbers appropriate? Should you use a steam mop?
Some detergents are toxic and can harm both your floor and the people living in your home. Mopping too much may wear out the floor. You can’t ignore the dirt. How do you handle wood floors? Read on for tricks to turn your wooden floor into a shiny, attractive investment.
Keep Your Floor Clean
Despite being a major investment in any home, floors take a beating every day. The whole family walks on them. Sometimes we dirty them, spill foods and drinks without caring about what effects the dirt will have.
Like any home investment, wooden floors can wear out. Their glamorous look can fade fast if not properly maintained. Sweep off dirt and remove food spills immediately. Use a dry mop to remove light debris, Vacuum weekly and always take keen not to scratch your floor. Avoid vacuum cleaners with beat bars as they tend to scratch off your floor’s surfaces.
Stop the dirt from spreading onto your floors by installing entry mats outside your doors. Alternatively, embrace a no shoe policy for everyone who comes into your home. Learn how to handle your pets and keep your floors clean. Most of them drag dirt back into your house and going outside. Limiting how dirt spreads into your home will help you have an easier time cleaning.
Use the Right Products
Wooden floors and water don’t mix. Timber also reacts differently to specific cleaning detergents. Ammonia leaves residue on your floors. Steam is too harsh and can crack your floors. Many cleaning products that sparkle concrete floors can damage your wood.
Read the label before using any products on your floor. If your floor was pre-finished by the manufacturer, ask for recommendations. The home’ contractor may also help you know about the floor’s finishing and help you decide what products to use.
Once you find the right products, follow the manufacturer’s guide to the letter. Some products may be safe for wood but only when used in small proportions. The way you use the detergents can also impact your bamboo floor. Spray the liquid on a dry mop and run across your floor without making it wet.
Don’t Expose the Floor to Direct Sunlight
Like your skin, wooden floors hate excessive sunlight. The sun’s rays fade all types of wood with time. If you regularly open your home windows to enjoy some sunlight, find ways to hide your floors. If you don’t need the sunlight getting into your house, close the blinds. Tint your windows or landscape around your house.
If you really enjoy basking in the sun while inside your house, use furniture, and drapes to your advantage. Place some seats and tables close to the windows. You will still get the sunlight, but it won’t get onto your floors. Place rugs where the sun could reach your floor and close the shades whenever you don’t need the sunlight. Your floors will probably fade with time, but they will look new and shiny for longer.
If your floors are past prevention, consider calling an expert for help. Professionals use refinishing systems that can eliminate faded colors and scratched parts. You can also work with a contractor to replace the whole system if you are completely turned off by the sight of your floors.
Polish the Floors Regularly
Vacuum cleaning your wooden floors is not enough to keep them glamorous. A little bit of polish is needed to make them sparkle. Polishing wooden floors is an art. Not all floors can be polished. Floors with a penetrating finish should only be waxed. Other types can be polished but should be done properly.
Make sure your floors are dust-free before cleaning them. Empty all areas that need polishing. Vacuum or use a little bit of soap and water to remove grime. Once the floor is clean, get out your polishing products. A towel, a wood floor polish, and a mop with a microfiber cleaning pad are the basics for polishing the floors.
When polishing, pick a corner to start with. The door areas should be your finishing points—like it is done when painting. Smooth air bubbles as you spread the polish solution back and forth. Opt for spreading thin layers of polish over thick layers. Thin layers dry faster and make your work easier. Again, you can add the mixtures later on where you feel need some touchups.
Once you are impressed by the glossy, beautiful look on your floors, give it one hour for the polish to stick. Take more time before placing back your belongings. Some experts recommend you wait one day but you could still repack your items in ten hours.
Aging and Smudging
Like any piece of wooden material in your house, wooden floors age in a process called oxidation. Sunlight is wood’s main enemy as we had already mentioned. But there are more ways you can slow down your floor’s aging process. Loose floor parts can cause cracks to big portions of your floor. Add adhesives to any portions that appear loose. Use nails if your floor is made of hardwood.
In addition to natural wear, smudges and smear can tremendously age your wooden floors. Keep in mind that not all wood types are designed to last forever. Materials like bamboo need to be treated with care or else their shelf life can depreciate really fast.
The glossy, attractive wooden floors naturally also attract smear. It takes a lot of effort to keep your floors looking new. You must use the right products and prevent anything that affects the floor.
Spot-free, glossy wooden floors are a sight to behold. If you decide to invest in them, be prepared to do all it takes to keep your home clean. Water is an enemy of wood. Keep away your mops unless you are dry cleaning. Make things easier for your family by reducing dirt getting into your home. Polish the floor regularly and ask for professional help if the need arises.
Image: Wooden Flooring from Ruslan Grumble/Shutterstock